Cite this paper:
LI Dong, ZHAO Jun, LIU Chenggang, SUN Chengjun, CHEN Jianfang, PAN Jianming, HAN Zhengbing, HU Ji. Comparison of sedimentary organic carbon loading in the Yap Trench and other marine environments[J]. HaiyangYuHuZhao, 2020, 38(3): 619-633

Comparison of sedimentary organic carbon loading in the Yap Trench and other marine environments

LI Dong1, ZHAO Jun1, LIU Chenggang1, SUN Chengjun2, CHEN Jianfang1, PAN Jianming1, HAN Zhengbing1, HU Ji1
1 Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem and Biogeochemistry, State Oceanic Administration, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, China;
2 Key Laboratory of Marine Eco-environmental Science and Technology, Marine Bioresource and Environment Research Center, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, China
Knowledge about organic carbon loadings (ratio of sedimentary organic carbon (SOC) content to specific surface area (SSA)) and the fate of organic carbon (OC) is critical to understand the marine carbon cycle. We investigated the variations in the patterns of OC loadings and the preservation capacities of sedimentary OC in the Yap Trench and other marine environments. The average OC loading in sediment cores from various marine environments decreases with increasing water depth at a rate of ~0.06 mg OC/ (m2·km) (R2=0.23, P<0.01). Distinct low OC loadings (0.09±0.04 mg OC/m2) were observed in the Yap Trench, with the lowest values as ~0.02 mg OC/m2. A further comparative analysis indicated that OC/ SSA=0.2 mg OC/m2 is a good indicator to distinguish between oxic deep-sea regions and suboxic energetic deltaic areas. Regression analysis between OC loading and bulk carbon isotope compositions indicates that marine OC (δ13C ~-20.4‰ to -18.6‰) dominates the lost OC within the Yap Trench and does not differ from that of the abyssal zone. In contrast, terrestrial OC with δ13C values of approximately -27.4‰ to -20.5‰ was the major source of remineralized OC in the sublittoral zone. The ratios of OC loadings in the bottom layer relative to those in the top layers of sediment cores indicate that the preservation capacities of hadal trenches are much lower than those of other environments, and only approximately 30% of the SOC deposited in hadal trenches is finally buried. The value is equivalent to 0.066% of the primary production-derived OC and much lower than the global ocean average (~0.3%). Overall, the hadal zone exhibits the lowest OC loading and preservation capacity of SOC of the different marine environments investigated, despite the occurrence of a notable funneling effect.
Key words:    Yap Trench|hadal zone|organic carbon loading|specific surface area|preservation capacity   
Received: 2018-12-18   Revised: 2019-04-25
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